I'll make my life easier by quoting Wikipedia on this one:
"The MassKara Festival is a week(3)-long festival held each year in Bacolod City, the capital of Negros Occidental province in the Philippines every third weekend of October nearest October 19, the city's Charter. The festival first began in 1980 during a period of crisis. The province relied on sugar cane as its primary agricultural crop, and the price of sugar was at an all-time low due to the introduction of sugar substitutes like high fructose corn syrup in the United States. It was also a time of tragedy; on April 22 of that year, the inter-island vessel Anniversary. Don Juan carrying many Negrenses, including those belonging to prominent families in Bacolod City, collided with the tanker Tacloban City and sank. An estimated 700 lives were lost in the tragedy. In the midst of these tragic events, the city's artists, local government and civic groups decided to hold a festival of smiles, because the city at that time was also known as the City of Smiles. They reasoned that a festival was also a good opportunity to pull the residents out of the pervasive gloomy atmosphere"...
Over-all it was a great experience for me. I'd love to come back to Bacolod soon on a longer stay so I could climb nearby Mt. Kanlaon and do more walking foodtrip and afterward either take the bus to Dumaguete or a ferry to Iloilo. Possibilities are endless when you're on the road.
We also went to Mambukal, the Ruins, and passed by Silay on the way to the airport. I'll write about the Masskara sidetrip on another blog entry.